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Swindon man's Christmas lights fundraiser makes glowing total
A RETIRED electrician who appealed through the Adver for people to remember to donate to see his Christmas lights has thanked everyone who helped him reach a glowing total.
Roger Deane, of Coleview, sets up a festive extravaganza in his front garden to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support, in memory of his late wife and son.
After raising as much as £500 in previous years, Mr Deane urged people who came to see them to remember to donate – because during one December evening he only raised £1.
Now he is celebrating raising £370, beating his most recent total of about £300 raised last time he decorated his house two years ago.
“I want to thank everyone who came to see our Christmas display and gave so generously,” he said.
“At the beginning of January we received a cheque from a lady in East Sussex who must have seen other papers leading on from the Advertiser. Also, we received a cheque from a lady in London who read in The Times what we are about.”
The lights were in memory of Roger’s wife, Christine, who died of leukaemia in 1989 at the age of 40, and his son, Andrew, who died of skin cancer in 2010.
Roger appealed through the Adver in December after receiving just £1 in donations one evening.
He said he could see people driving up to the house but then leaving without supporting the charity.
The display, which he started working on in October, included a giant snowman, a nativity and a reindeer.
Roger, who used to work as an electrician for the RAF, met his present wife, Eileen, three years after Christine died and it was then that he started putting lights up outside his home.
Eileen and Roger have raised funds in previous years for The Rainbow Room at the old Princess Margaret Hospital, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Prospect Hospice, Wiltshire Air Ambulance, the Special Care Baby Unit at Great Western Hospital, The Stoma Association and Macmillan Cancer Support twice.
“I love doing it and the grandchildren really love it too,” he said.
Roger and Eileen pay for the electricity and lights out of their own pocket. Last time it cost about £400 to pay for the display but will have to wait until February when they receive their bill to see how much this year cost.